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GUIDE TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING FOR
E-COMMERCE

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What Is E-commerce project management?

Have you ever heard of e-commerce project management definition? Effective management goes beyond having a clear-cut strategy with established scope, quality, budget, and deadlines, though it is still vital. Being a manager you need to organize and motivate the team as well as keep all the processes under control. The main idea that lies behind project management is to create all the conditions to achieve e-commerce project objectives.
 

Now there are many tools, methodologies, software available. They are constantly evolving to make e-commerce project planning and management much easier.

The role of e-сommerce projects management in company life

With the fast development of the e-commerce sphere, it’s important to be caught up with all the changes and innovations. This is just one of the reasons why companies need e-commerce project management.
 

In other words, provide a solid plan and stay on top of things in order to identify the biggest challenges and bottlenecks of the project.

Challenges you face without e-commerce project management

Some online retailers end up having no idea of the direction in which their e-store should be developed. It happens when they do not pay much attention to what’s happening on the market, who they should cooperate with, what technologies are used in today’s world.
 

Don’t have a solid plan for your e-commerce project, – be ready to face issues like falling behind schedules, skipping small but essential tasks, the complete mess inside the workflow steps, not getting the desired profit.

First- defining your objectives

To avoid the negative consequences, start with determining what you intend to achieve. Why are you doing it all? Where are you moving to? Once the target is acquired, keep your eye on it. Try and make the goal as specific as possible, take into consideration your target customers and their needs.

Choosing a project management strategy

To make your life easier, there are a lot of various project management strategies you should know about. The thing you need to do is to choose one that suits you the best.
 

Here are some of the most popular strategies that may come in handy:

LEAN

This approach to management brings constant improvement. New changes and improvements are added on each stage. The main aim of this management structure is to create value for the client. The method involves a continuous workflow to keep away from roadblocks and delays.
 

By clarifying the features on each stage lean management helps to save time and energy wasted for redoing.
Lean methodology focuses on important features, avoiding unnecessary tasks and meetings. All the stages should be implemented fast.
 

Instead of long-term implementation planning, this approach estimates the efficiency of the work done on each stage.
However, the main focus on value and not quality may have its drawbacks too. The lean methodology doesn’t pay much attention to meetings and training.

AGILE

Agile is also an iterative methodology but the difference is that some part of the final product is developed on each stage.
The great advantage of it is that the customer’s feedback is received for each implemented feature and that contributes greatly to constant development.
 

If you choose this methodology it means you’d rather respond to innovations and changes in the workflow than follow blindly a strict plan, which is not necessarily right to the end. But take into account that this fact may mean that it is harder to predict what the final product will look like if you use this management system.

WATERFALL

In case you have a small team and want to know for sure what the final product should be like, Waterfall management methodology is the right choice. It is one of the oldest models and some people already regard it as outdated.
 

An important role in this management methodology is given to a simple and distinct structure. In its lifecycle, every project has a set of steps like collecting necessary data, designing, implementation, testing, and deployment.
 

The main principle is a logical progression of processes – no new stage can be done before the previous one is fully completed. This leaves little place to introducing some changes into some steps after they were finished.

SCRUM

This method focuses on team uniting their knowledge and efforts together to produce a ready-for-use project of high quality.
 

It all starts by discussing the main objectives and wishes of the client. Scrum uses sprints, each of them results in a ready product that is later improved in the next sprints.
 

Short meetings (up to 15 minutes) on a daily basis are conducted to see the progress, discuss the problems (if there are any), and plan the tasks for the day.
 

As a lot of attention is dedicated to teamwork, it’s important that every member of the team is experienced and ready to respond to challenges quickly. Otherwise, the implementing of Scrum won’t be efficient enough.

KANBAN

Kanban methodology has much in common with Scrum. There is still a visualization of the progress made showing the whole workflow.
 

This methodology provides the possibilities to implement the changes not only at the end of the sprint but at any time these changes are needed.
 

In order to develop and deploy features faster, Kanban puts the focus on smaller sprints and shorter cycle times.

Putting the right team structure in place

Finding a relevant project management methodology is still not enough. How your team is structured is also a question of great importance.
 

There are several types of team structure, depending on the number of members, the tendency to distribute tasks and hierarchy structures. The main team kinds include a self-managed team, a problem-solving team, a virtual and a cross-functional team.
 

You should know the people working on your project really well to know which type of team structure and organization of work within members will be the most efficient.

How to plan your e-commerce projects

As soon as you are ready with the most suitable for your project management methodology, you can move on to the next stage – planning.
 

For the successful project plan for e-commerce business, you need to conduct competitive research and find out who is who in your sphere of e-commerce. Studying other e-stores’ practices may help you to adopt useful features, know your customers’ preferences and avoid some mistakes.
 

Then, it’s good to set the roles. Determine who can do what in the team and if necessary – hire more professionals.
Your next step is dividing the whole project into smaller tasks. Tell your team who is responsible for each team. In order to increase the concentration on specific aspects – set the duration for each sprint and define the main points.
 

Here comes the implementation of the tasks and of course testing. Don’t hurry and make sure that the product you deliver is of the highest quality and meets all the requirements. Drop what is redundant and make sure you can change what is unnecessary.

Start with an MVP

If you want to be sure that you are moving in the right direction,- start with launching a minimum viable product (MVP). MVP is a ready product, having only the main features of what the customer wants to see as the final result. It will help you to save your money and identify weak sides in the early stages.

Define a workflow process

Make clear all the stages and processes for your team to let the delivery flow smoothly.
 

First of all, discuss all the details and requirements concerning the project with your clients. Such meetings not only give an overview of work to be done, it also gives you the necessary data concerning planning, estimation of time and budget.
 

Divide then collected data into sprints and distribute the tasks among team members. Don’t forget to visualize each step – to see what you have and what you need.
 

Meetings are important to see the changes and define the obstacles on the way. Daily, Weekly or after every sprint,- don’t be afraid to spend time on such discussions – you will see how beneficial it can be.
 

ou already know the stages of the development process- following them strictly will lead you to the successful deployment to production and achieving the main objectives of the project.

Team communications

To maintain communication inside the team, you can use various e-commerce project management software: Jira, Slack, Dropbox. You definitely have heard of at least some of them.
 

The choice depends on what is more comfortable for you, how much money you are ready to pay and what features you need for clear-cut communication.

How to manage Time, Scope and Budget

All e-commerce project managers know about three often-occurring problems in the project development process: missing deadlines, not fitting into the budget and too much redoing due to poor quality.
 

There are many solutions to these issues. For example, leaving a place for iterations can help you avoid introducing too many changes in the course of development. You may not even notice how it makes the whole process slower.
 

Want to avoid schedule delays? Set reasonable deadlines and find the reason why some projects are not delivered on time. There must be something wrong either with the processes or with the people.

Best project management apps

Here are three main helpers in keeping track of the project’s workflow:

Trello provides the opportunity to create an unlimited number of cards, categorize them and make lists.
 

Asana – has a great positive feature – it is very flexible. You can apply it with both small and big teams. Other useful stuff available: setting priorities and due-dates, implementing real-time changes and custom views.
 

If you need more customizations and need to receive inputs from the whole team, choose  Jira. It is very easy to learn, teach and use. And one more great plus – this management app allows implementing both simple and complex workflows.
 

There is one more tool that deserves your attention. Redmine is a comfortable, free and open-source management application. It uses a ticketing system and provides the users with the possibility of  “chunking” projects into smaller in order to improve productivity

Tips for planning and management e-commerce projects

As you can see, everything becomes simple if you follow a simple project management plan for e-commerce as well as the principles below:
 

  • choose an appropriate management and planning methodology;
  • investigate the market and observe how it changes;
  • keep track of time, scope and budget;
  • be sure your team structure corresponds to the project’s demands;
  • use various software for tracking project workflow and project management tools for e-commerce to maintain communication within the team.
     

Or you can do it more simply – contact SapientPro. We know how to manage e-commerce projects and our team will help you to make your e-commerce website good-looking, user-friendly and profitable.

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If only there were an analogy of Hogwarts’ sorting hat for software development… Imagine: you enter your idea of the product, how much budget you have, and get the list of the technology stack and contacts of the development team that would work ideally with your niche! In the real software development world, choosing a technology stack requires planning, discussions, and analysis. Some technologies will work better with your project, and our task is to detect which ones. However, you also need to understand that the tech stack is not something fixed. As your product grows, there comes the need for new and better tools. This way, software development requires flexibility. Thus, prepare that your initial technology stack may not stay with you forever. You may need to scale your project or implement new features and store more information. There may be better versions of some tools available. Prepare to be flexible. Prepare to change and alter things when the upgrades require it. That’s what will make you competitive from a technological standpoint of leading an E-Commerce business. In this article, we will tell you about the most popular technologies that power E-Commerce products. Next time you communicate with your development team, you will know all the essential information and, most importantly, you will ask the right questions.

Kate

8 min read

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SAPIENTPROCommunication in the software development workplace

IT office jungles are filled with computer forests, cable lianas, and rivers of coffee. The temperature varies between 24 and 27, depending on who keeps the conditioner remote control. The sunlight mainly comes from computer screens and lightbulbs. Developers are working like bees: they take the pollen of code and create honeycombs of apps. It is a beautiful environment filled with the magical power of innovation, creativity, and agility. However, this ecosystem only works if there is one more component. This component is communication.

Kate

6 min read

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DEVELOPMENT10 reasons to update your website

The day has come. Your once successful and well-performing website wears off. And you know what? It is okay. It happens to the best of us. Even while you are reading this article, we are revising our website to improve your experience with it. So let us explain how the updating process works, and not just because we are a software development company but because we understand. Right now, our designer is creating a fresh way of delivering cases, and our backend developer is engaged in the improvement of the admin panel.

Kate

7 min read

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DEVELOPMENTECOMMERCE REPLATFORMING GUIDE: SWITCH FROM ONE CMS TO ANOTHER

Outdated CMS may be among the reasons why your business hit a plateau.Developing and launching a website is not where the work stops. Besides, you have to maintain it constantly and implement profound changes. As for the latter, sometimes you may need to do something more than a simple redesign, and that may be a switch from one CMS to another. If your e-commerce business is continuously evolving and growing, it brings along more work to do. New technologies are always here to make your life easier. When it comes to CMS, there is also a great variety of opportunities you can use. In this article, we will walk you through the reasons, things to consider, and steps of CMS replatforming.

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DEVELOPMENTGUIDE TO BUILDING SEO FRIENDLY E-COMMERCE WEBSITE IN 2020

Let us be clear, the absence of SEO may result in the absence of website visibility.What people usually do when they need to find some information? Of course, they google it. The same goes for online shopping. When someone wants to buy or just compare prices for a certain product, Internet users simply open their devices to find necessary items online. Although you can now hardly find a person, who doesn’t have a computer or a laptop, people still use mobile devices more often. Thus, 93% of all internet activity starts with a search query. This number is for you if you doubt the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

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DEVELOPMENTHOW TO BUILD & IMPLEMENT DYNAMIC PRICING FOR E-COMMERCE

Bear in mind, the whole purpose of dynamic pricing isn’t all about making sales.Price is among the key priorities when the consumers make their final decision whether to buy a product or not. Too expensive or too cheap offers can easily avert the buyers from your store. What if other stores have smaller prices? Or similar products of cheaper brands attract visitors more? The solution for not losing the client base is keeping track and controlling the costs on your website with the help of dynamic price strategies.

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DEVELOPMENTCOSTS OF E-COMMERCE PROJECT REDESIGN

The rise of sales, increased traffic and positive reviews are just a couple of benefits you may get from a website redesign.If you want your e-commerce business to grow and develop (we believe you do), you need to keep track of events in the online retail industry and, of course, implement on-time updates. Sometimes, small changes are not enough, then significant renovations should take place. Those may include changing the offers you provide and product lines, updating the website and finally redesigning. The question of redesign should be taken up seriously, as the first impression is what most people rely on when it comes to the Internet and its tough competition. Be ready to invest enough effort and budget to the renovation that will increase your business’s value. To know how to determine your budget. It’s important to consider at first the features, reasons, and type of changes, necessary for your website in the process of redesign.

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DEVELOPMENTADDING AN ONLINE STORE TO YOUR WEBSITE: DETAILED GUIDE

Adding an online store to your website will cost you less than developing it from the ground up.Selling online is never a bad idea, especially nowadays, when people wish to buy everything they need right from their cozy homes.What if having a ready website a business owner decided to sell something? Good news! There is no need for you to start all over again. There is a solution – adding an online store to the existing website. The opportunities of eCommerce are growing as fast as the customers’ demands.

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DEVELOPMENTHOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUILD AN E-COMMERCE WEBSITE IN 2019-2020

The e-commerce development company you choose will certainly affect the money you have to pay.The e-commerce website can definitely enhance the profit you receive from your business. But how much does e-commerce website cost? The figures you will hear in an answer to that question can vary a lot. Even after development, you will have to invest money into maintenance, improvement and adding brand-new features that are constantly appearing on the market. That’s in case you want your e-store to be attractive and profitable, of course. It’s even difficult to tell the average cost of how much should I charge for an e-commerce website. The numbers will vary due to different factors. In this article, we’re going to discuss them all in detail to help you grasp some idea about the money you need to pay for the e-store. First of all, you need to decide what you want your e-commerce to offer the customers. It may be anything from small business e-store up to a large website with a big amount of integrated (useful or just good-looking) features. It is also a good idea not to wait until everything becomes outdated. We strongly recommend to update all the features continuously and save money for more innovations.

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DEVELOPMENTWEB DEVELOPMENT TEAM STRUCTURE AT SAPIENTPRO

We don’t say there isn’t enough knowledge, because our specialists are always broadening their abilities, delivering first-rate products and making the customers satisfied.Being a client of a Web Development company doesn’t mean you have to know all the ins and outs of the development process. However, what may be interesting for you is the stages and main characters of the project delivery. You cannot address front-end developer directly if you need to add a new payment method. Even this, as you may think, simple task involves a well-thought teamwork. So, here is a brief insight into the mechanism of SapientPro Clockwork.

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DEVELOPMENTHOW IT OUTSOURCING MAKES UKRAINE ATTRACTIVE FOR BUSINESSES AROUND THE WORLD

If a customer wants to find a development company they can work comfortably with, the staff becomes a really important point to encounter for making a choice.Without any doubt, while visiting some websites, buying goods online or even using a digital map to reach your destination you don’t think of the fact that Ukrainian IT specialists might have taken part in the development of these apps. A great number of companies around the world choose to outsource web development to Ukraine and they do have strong reasons for that. So, let’s give a detailed look at the biggest of them:

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DEVELOPMENTMAIN FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE COST OF THE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

As software development is a many-stage process, every its element contributes to what you have to pay for an application.Before starting something new, people usually ask: “How much will it cost me to do this?” If you expect to hear the exact sum once you come to the software development company, here is something you need to know. The factors to be considered for the cost estimation are numerous and most of them depend on how you want your website or app to look like.As software development is a many-stage process, every its element contributes to what you have to pay for an application. Let’s have a closer look at three most important factors that affect the client’s budget.

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